Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

District players to represent their leagues

Many footballers and netballers from around the district will take part in interleague fixtures on Saturday.

GEORDIE COWAN May 23, 2014 3:22am

David Ismail, Ryan Prendergast, Scott Beattie, Dean Moon, Tyler Jones and Farran Priest will represent the Murray Football League on Saturday.

District footballers and netballers will battle for their leagues across Victoria tomorrow.

With the Heathcote and District Football League sides still to be picked last night, at least 35 players from Echuca, Echuca United, Moama, Rochester, Lockington-Bamawm United, Leitchville-Gunbower and Mathoura have been selected to represent their leagues.

Echuca United and Moama have a big representation in the Murray Football League senior side when it travels to Mildura to take on the Sunraysia Football League.

With Eagles coach Scott Beattie at the helm, five members of his ladder-leading side have been selected, with Ryan Prendergast and Farran Priest the captain and vice-captain respectively.

Prendergast said he was happy, but surprised, when he was informed of the role earlier in the week.

‘‘It’s great to be leading a team with such good players,’’ he said.

‘‘A couple of guys have played in the top level like Cupido and Dick and to see some of the boys here, it’s a real honour.’’

Prendergast said the team looked forward to producing an improved performance after Sunraysia belted Murray by 100 points at the same venue two years ago.

‘‘We would like to keep the Murray league in the top 10 bracket,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re a completely different side and a pretty young side.

‘‘But we’re coached well and I think we’ll put in a pretty good effort on Saturday.’’

Ruckman Clayton Zanella, utility Bryn Barnes-Webb and midfielder Dean Moon are in the 24-man squad — which still has one player to be omitted — while Magpies forward Tyler Jones and half-back David Ismail also feature.

Five Rumbalara players have been named in the squad, including in-form former AFL competitors Damian Cupido and Brad Dick, while Barooga have four members.

‘I am happy with the squad,’’ Beattie said.

‘‘We picked guys we thought could do a job for us that we weren’t able to do last time.’’

Beattie said not much had been made of the 2012 performance, but said the group felt justifiably confident going into the match after beating Bellarine Football League by 64 points last year.

‘‘We have had a really good time at training and the players have earned their spots,’’ he said.

In his second year as coach, Beattie said players had improved their level of commitment since last year.

‘‘The guys have been really committed to the process,’’ he said.

‘‘From my perspective and the Murray Football League executive, there has been a higher level of commitment since some guidelines were put in place.’’

Beattie said Prendergast was deserving of the captaincy role, ‘‘ticking all the boxes’’.

‘‘He has been a real supporter of interleague footy,’’ he said.

‘‘At a mature age, he has seen the bottom of senior footy, dropped down to the seconds and while he still had the ability to perform highly.

‘‘He has bounced back to be a terrific club man and team mate and the boys respect him at interleague.’’

■ Echuca’s Matt Pollock will represent the Goulburn Valley Football League senior side once again after replacing Matt O’Keefe in the initial line-up.

Rochester’s Brendon Hollow will line-up in the centre, while two Murray Bombers have also been named in the under 18s team.

Speedy half-back flanker Clayton Holmes will feature alongside Jack Monigatti, who is listed in the forward pocket.

Goulburn Valley is looking to win this game against Ballarat to return to fight for the prized number one ranking in country Victoria.

■ Mathoura midfielder Chris Allingham and defender Nathan Rowbottom have been selected for Picola and District Football League north-west’s match against Hume Football League at Tocumwal tomorrow.

Picola United players Scott Miles, Dylan Cunningham, Heath Platfuss and John Walker will also line-up.

Coached by Josh Bode, the team will take part in a special three-match feature at Tocumwal, with both PDFL north-west and south-east senior teams playing interleague fixtures, while a junior match will start the day at 10am.

The Timbercutters are also represented in the juniors, with Bryce Bish and Calum Lindberg taking part, while Blues player Bryce Jorgensen is also part of the team.

■ The Heathcote and District Football League takes on Horsham District Football League at Horsham, with the senior and under 17 teams selected last night.

The under 17s go into their contest in good form after a triumphant day at the Moama carnival last weekend.

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